Improvised magnetic latch

A cabinet in the kitchen wouldn’t stay shut, so I glued a magnet to the door, and screwed a small wood screw into the frame. The most difficult part was disassembling the hard drive to get the rare earth magnet.

hard drive magnet glued to cabinet door
Improvised magnetic latch

It works, but only just. With the door fully shut, the wood screw is a couple of millimeters farther than it should be from the magnet. Magnetic field strength being inversely proportional to the cube of the distance, a millimeter makes a difference.

Next time I’ll go to the hardware store and buy a magnetic cabinet latch. This design resulted from frustration, not planning. Still, it reuses rare earth materials; now I have two shiny disks from the hard drive; and I rediscovered the always-interesting Dan’s Data.

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7 Replies to “Improvised magnetic latch”

    1. The screw is installed vertically. It’s possible I could take it out and put a washer on it or something, but it does work – you just have to push it all the way shut and hold it.

        1. Oh, I think we’ve reached tacky already. Still, wrapping a bit of wire around the head of the screw might work.

        2. Bah, it’s awesome! I thought the copper might be pretty, though, and even thought it’s not magnetic enough to work with normal magnets, it might be that extra tiny bit of oomph….

          Really tacky would be bending the screw so it’s closer. ^.^

        3. As it turns out, I put the screw in a little off vertical, so backing it out a few turns brought it enough closer to the magnet so work better.

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